Filmland: Arkansas Feature Audience Award winner Noah Arthur Woods has wrapped their latest film I Do This for a Living. The film is about Noah’s father and his real life experiences with work, family and trauma. Noah crowdfunded the film and assembled 11 crew members. All of the cast but two were non-actors. Currently, they are in post-production with Noah handling editing duties. They plan to release it to festivals in 2024. You can find out more on the film’s website or Instagram.
Noah sent ACS a statement about their experience making the film:
"I Do This For A Living is a symbiotic dance of life, caught on camera. The film is about my father and his real life experiences with work, family and trauma. Correspondingly, it is about myself--played by us. On a story level, the film is about Jeff, a mechanic who is struggling to keep up with life in his later years, and his absent, traumatized son Ab, who brings a trans girl into the family. Tension rises all around the characters as they try to understand who they are, and what life means.
"The film's conception happened a couple years ago in a documentary class where my thesis was a piece about my fathers music career, depression and the aftermath of a tanker accident he was in. A year later, in my senior year of film school, I was tasked with writing a feature project. I didn’t think much about what I wanted to write, I had no real ideas--I just knew I wanted to make a movie after graduation--after my first feature, I just had to keep making things or I would go insane. I sat down and started writing both my fathers life and my own, in a way the movie represents a coming of age story for a father and son, 35 years apart.
"After a little under a year in pre-production, we were able to craft a crew of talented people, a budget of $18,000, and a story that everyone wanted to tell. We shot for 15 days, all of which took place in my family’s hometown of Tyronza, AR. Something that I strive for as a director is to bring people together through film. My parents and I invited the entire cast and crew to my childhood home, and we all slept, ate and stayed there through the entire production. I wanted this project to be and feel more than a movie, I wanted to create a family. And now having seen some of the footage that we got, family is on the forefront.
"I am unsure if everyone knows what a “sunset moment” is, I found out during the production. It is a moment where one realizes that what is happening is a profoundly beautiful and special moment that isn't truly realized. Something that takes time to process in just how beautiful it was--that is how this project feels--it is a moment in time that comes and passes and you get over it and don’t think about, until later on in life, when you are remembering all of the beautiful breezes of wind that made you feel whole. This film means the world to me, because it is my world, myself and my family are scattered all on this digital canvas, they gave their lives, and I exposed mine, for this. Why? Because I think deep down, talking for myself, my parents, my beautiful co star, my team… we all just want to be heard and seen for who we truly feel like."
At ACS, we believe that if we provide filmmakers an arena to exhibit their talents, and film enthusiasts a healthy diet of quality programming, we can inspire more Arkansans to make and watch more films. By supporting filmmakers, festivals, theaters and young people interested in filmmaking throughout the state, we hope to create statewide network, pool Arkansas’s resources and be an umbrella organization that feeds all things film. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats.
To be a filmmaker, we have to connect to create. A painter needs a brush, paint and a canvas. A director needs a writer, a cinematographer, a sound mixer, production designer, editor, actors, distributors, and an audience. We cannot do it alone. This art form forces one to collaborate and thus, creates jobs. Filmmaking is unique in the arts in this way. It takes an army.